Hello members of Think Atheist!  

 

As I was reading a little bit of the 'Michael Vick, racial history and Animal Rights' post - it got me thinking.  

 

If we are all to believe that animals physically suffer just as much as humans do ... let me ask a few questions.  

 

First , before I ask these questions, I wish to make a dichotomy.  This dichotomy is essentially a morally based dichotomy ... here are the two separate distinctions. 

 

1.)  Morality - Perceived from within the confines of 'Human well being and Human flourishing'.

 

2.)  Morality - Perceived from outside the confines of 'Human well being and Human flourishing'.  (A sort of universal truth)

 

Let me ask a question first to get you thinking.  

 

Does the Universe care whether or not we - as an evolved species - would perish from the face of this planet?  

 

Would we - as an ethnocentric species - care if we perished from the face of this planet?   

So again - if we are to believe that animals suffer just like humans do - is it logically correct to make the following comparison?

 

The killing of an animal is perfectly = The killing of a human 

 

or 

 

The rape of an animal is perfectly = To the rape of a human

 

Are we NOT to believe that the killing of a human is somehow worse - As we can rationalize that psychological pain would be brought forth as well?  A mother losing her child would be in severe pain ... but the mother of a dog would not be?  

 

Is this reason to believe that:

 

The killing of an animal is < The killing of a human?  

 

or

 

The rape of an animal is < The rape of a human?  

 

Or is this assumption ONLY based off premise one of my dichotomy above?  

 

If not - is this assumption ALSO found with premise two of my dichotomy above?  

 

Are we holding the killing of a dog to a lesser degree than that of humans for the sake of it just being true - or for the sake that we , as humans, feel the need to propagate our own species?  

 

I do hope you all followed this - I'm not a philosophy major - So sometimes I don't make my philosophical arguments perfectly clear.  

 

It seems to be obvious that there are many situations where an adult could cry and be brought to much emotional pain when their cat dies ... then finding out that a child they didn't know died of starvation half way across the world.  

 

I mean shit - Tom Hanks practically throws a convulsion in that one movie 'Cast Away' ... where he loses his soccer ball after all those years of being isolated in the Island.  It was his only friend.  Even if it was a soccer ball.  

 

Is there any reason to believe that the taking of any Life X is not perfectly = to the taking of any Life Y?  

 

Thank you kindly for your posts.  

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1.)  Morality - Perceived from within the confines of 'Human well being and Human flourishing'.

 

I don't believe it is logical to restrict it to "human" flourishing. 

 

Does the Universe care whether or not we - as an evolved species - would perish from the face of this planet?

 

I don't think the universe can care about anything. 

 

"if we are to believe that animals suffer just like humans do - is it logically correct to make the following comparison?  The killing of an animal is perfectly = The killing of a human"

 

it would, although I don't believe all conscious creatures suffer in the same ways exactly, but I strongly suspect that the commonalities are greater than the general public seem to think. 

 

Are we holding the killing of a dog to a lesser degree than that of humans for the sake of it just being true - or for the sake that we , as humans, feel the need to propagate our own species? 


I think it's neither - it's not a T/F statement, and I don't think genetic propagation is a factor involved.  It's simply that most people do not judiciously deliberate their daily actions but rather slip into the "norms" handed down from others.

 

It seems to be obvious that there are many situations where an adult could cry and be brought to much emotional pain when their cat dies ... then finding out that a child they didn't know died of starvation half
way across the world. 

 

that's a different situation - it's well documented that we have much stronger altruistic tendencies toward individuals in close proximity to us because our emotions are tugged.  Starving kids in Africa are much easier to ignore than our pets.

 

Is there any reason to believe that the taking of any Life X is not perfectly = to the taking of any Life Y?

 

Yes, there is.  If I were forced to choose between killing a dog or killing a human, I would choose the dog, because the human (mature psychologically sound) has more complex emotions and relationships than a dog, so the effect of killing the dog will almost surely cause less harm than killing the human.  On the other hand, if the dog is a healthy rescue dog, and the person is in a coma with little expectation to wake, then the human dies IMO.  It's a complicated juggle between utilitarianism, deontology and the grossly unspecific task of quantifying consciousness and wellbeing.  Or, if a heart was needed by a human male, single with few relatives accident victim with a poor prognosis and was also needed by a young mother chimp who was healthy and caring for multiple offspring (ignoring for argument that we can't yet actually interchange organs with chimps) then I would say it should go to the chimp because less harm will be done by losing the  human than by loosing the chimp.

 

I'm a moral vegan BTW.  I don't consume animal products because I can not see any justification for taking life just because I enjoy doing it.

 

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